Race for Life turns Burghley Park into a sea of pink

The grounds of Burghley House were transformed into a sea of bright pink and filled with emotion for this weekend’s Race for Life events.

The 5km obstacle course - Pretty Muddy - took place on Saturday, while those not wanting to get dirty had the option of taking part in the traditional 5km and 10km Race for Life events on Sunday, in the shadow of the picturesque house, near Stamford.

Many of the women taking part in both events dressed in pink and wore tutus, although they didn’t stay white for Pretty Muddy!

And as usual, everyone wore a back sign dedicating their race to a friend or relative fighting cancer or in memory of a loved one.

Heart FM were there supporting the events, which both started with a warm-up by fitness trainer Sonia Cullington and a performance by Stamford-based Wildcats Theatre School.

On the Saturday, senior students led a number of ‘waves’ of warm up for the Pretty Muddy event. Georgia Burdock, Bethan Hurford, Caitlin Hancock and Jessie Auciello took to the stage and led the participants in the mass warm up. All girls, age 15 and 16 have volunteered at this event for a number of years, all with their own personal reasons why taking part is important. Rock Choir also performed.

On Sunday, the girls each sang a song pre race - giving a moving introduction to their song with their own personal reasons for being part of the event.

Heidi Rock, from Bourne, who is battling cancer herself, also gave a particularly moving speech on Sunday to the 1,300 women gathered about her own reasons for taking part. Team Heidi accounted for 60 people during Sunday’s race.

Funds raised from the event will go directly towards Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work.

Senior area events manager Fiona Murray said it was a great weekend in Stamford, with the weather staying dry throughout the events.

She said: “The atmosphere was absolutely incredible across the whole weekend and Burghley House is such a beautiful venue.

“On Saturday, Pretty Muddy was muddier than ever before and the ladies crossing the finishing line were absolutely covered in mud from head to toe but they all had huge smiles on their faces, which was great to see.

“And on Sunday, it was another really lovely day, although of course, emotions were running high. There were smiles and tears but is such a heartwarming event and there was a really good community atmosphere.”

Volunteers from Lincolnshire 4x4 Response and the Cambridgeshire Police Cadets were on hand to provide support and a call-out for additional marshals on Sunday drew huge support from some of the spectators, who helped cheer on the women taking part and hand out well-deserved medals at the finish line.

Stalls selling Race for Life merchandise, jewellery and other items all added to the atmosphere on the day.

Women from Burghley Park and Peterborough Ladies group, which also fundraises for Cancer Research UK, were also on hand selling their flowers to raise extra funds.

Fiona said the entire weekend is expected to have raised more than £100,000 for the charity and she urged people to now turn their attentions to returning their sponsorship money as quickly as possible.